Wednesday 21 March 2018

Forkful's easy suppers: Chicken Noodle Salad

Chicken Noodle Salad. Photo: Mark Duggan
Chicken Noodle Salad. Photo: Mark Duggan

Aoife McElwain

I'm one of these divils who hoards empty jars. When I finish my jam/nut butter/peanut rayu, I clean out the jar and pop it on a shelf next to the 12 other empty jars that await their destiny as a repurposed food storage unit.

Who knows when they might come in handy or when I might finally organise all my dried nuts and fruit into carefully labelled jars?

I was doing a spring-clean of my cupboards last weekend and discovered the evidence of what can only be described as a food addiction.

I have eight (eight!) jars of chef Katie Sanderson's Peanut Rayu. One is opened and in use, two are unopened and the other five jars are empty and cleaned out.

Seeing them all laid out like that, I realised I had a problem. A delicious, chilli and peanut oil problem.

I've been stocking up on Sanderson's Peanut Rayu, you see.

I buy this delicious sauce from the pantry shop in The Green Door Market on Newmarket Square in Dublin, where it is €6.50 per jar. Sanderson's Rayu is also for sale in Ard Bia in Galway as well as at the monthly Dublin Flea Market.

The Peanut Rayu is one of those storecupboard treats that really helps speed up a speedy supper.

I've used it in a simple noodle salad where I've paired it with another of my favourite speedy supper ingredients: the fabulously tasty Ummera smoked chicken from West Cork, which is widely available in good food stores nationwide.

If you can't get your hands on either of these Irish products, you can fry up a couple of chicken breasts or use leftover roast chicken, shredded, and I've included an alternative dressing suggestion in the recipe below.

Trust me when I say these two products are well worth seeking out.

Chicken Noodle Salad

Serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


100g of dried medium egg noodles

1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

6 mushrooms, sliced

1 clove of garlic, finely diced

8 pieces of tenderstem broccoli

2 tablespoons of Peanut Rayu

6 slices of smoked Ummera chicken

1 red chilli, finely sliced

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 lime

Fresh coriander


1. Cook your noodles according to the packet's instructions. They should only take a few minutes. Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium to high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and fry for about five minutes, until the mushrooms start to absorb the oil. Add the garlic and the tenderstem broccoli and fry for another three minutes, until the broccoli is vibrant green.

3. Add the cooked noodles to a large mixing bowl. Transfer the mushrooms, garlic and broccoli to the noodles. Add the Peanut Rayu and mix well. If you haven't been able to track down the Peanut Rayu, you could mix 2 tablespoons of soya sauce and 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil with the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of finely grated fresh ginger for a delicious alternative dressing.

4. Divide the noodles between two serving bowls. Top with slices of Ummera smoked chicken (or slices of cooked chicken breasts or leftover roast chicken) and another dollop of Peanut Rayu if you like. Sprinkle with slices of red chilli, spring onions and a few fresh coriander leaves. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

This week's storecupboard essential:

Ummera Smokeouse: This smokehouse has been operating out of West Cork since the late 1980s, starting with smoked organic Irish salmon. The full range includes delicious smoked duck and bacon products, as well as the lovely smoked chicken. For more information, visit

Irish Independent

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